hold (down) the fort

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Related to held the fort: hold the fort, hold down the fort

hold (down) the fort

To maintain the proper functioning or order of some situation or place, typically during someone's absence. Don't worry, boss, I'll hold down the fort while you're away.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hold the fort

Fig. to take care of a place while someone who is usually there is gone, such as a store or one's home. (From western movies.) I'm going next door to visit Mrs. Jones. You stay here and hold the fort. You should open the store at eight o'clock and hold the fort until I get there at ten.
See also: fort, hold
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hold the fort

Assume responsibility, especially in another's absence; also, maintain a secure position. For example, Harry did a good job of holding the fort until his boss recovered, or Can you hold the fort in the kitchen? This expression has been traced to an order given by General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864, which was repeated as "Hold the fort [against the enemy at Allatoona] at all costs, for I am coming."
See also: fort, hold
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hold the fort

mainly BRITISH or

hold down the fort

AMERICAN
If you hold the fort for someone, you look after things for them while they are somewhere else. Her husband holds the fort at their Norfolk home during the week. You can hold down the fort here. I shouldn't be too long.
See also: fort, hold
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hold the fort

take responsibility for a situation while someone is absent.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold the ˈfort

(British English) (American English hold down the ˈfort) (informal) be in charge or taking care of something while the person usually responsible is not there: I’m going abroad for a few weeks, and Kathy will hold the fort while I’m away.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold the fort

tv. to remain behind and take care of things. I left John there to hold the fort.
See also: fort, hold
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hold the fort

Informal
1. To assume responsibility, especially in another's absence.
2. To maintain a secure position.
See also: fort, hold
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings held the fort while big-hitting Jos Buttler was rested after his 46-ball century in the one-dayers.
These guys were able to deliver and they held the fort for us.'
Sky News veteran Kay Burley hosted from David Cameron's constituency while political heavyweight Adam Boulton held the fort at Sky HQ.
JR Alabanza also held the fort defensively, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and eight blocks.
Calvin Abueva scored five of his 23 points in overtime and Vic Manuel scattered 25 as the undersized duo more than held the fort for the Aces against Star's formidable frontline.
Taking nothing away from Keith Millen, who held the fort as caretaker, but just imagine how much brighter their survival prospects might be now if Pulis had taken over three weeks ago, and they had an extra point or two on the board.